ECB members approve new Twenty20 tournament
A new eight-team city-based Twenty20 competition is set to start in 2020 after England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) members overwhelmingly approved the proposal.
All but three of the 41 members voted in favour of introducing an eight-team competition, which will include 36 matches in 38 days with squads of 15 players - three of which can be from overseas.
Only three of the 18 first-class counties were against the tournament, which was also supported by 21 county boards in non-first-class counties, the MCC and the Minor Counties Cricket Association.
The competition will not spell the end of the existing T20 Blast.
ECB chairman Colin Graves said: "We are delighted that such an overwhelming majority of our members have voted to support the change to the ECB's Articles. In doing so, they have paved the way for an exciting new era for cricket in England and Wales.
"Over the past year our members have seen the clear evidence outlining why an additional new T20 competition is the right way for cricket to reach new audiences, create new fans and drive the future of the game.
"I would like to sincerely thank them for the way they and their members have embraced the process and the debate.
"I passionately believe that the game has chosen the right path. Each of our members will benefit and, critically, so will the whole game.
"We can now move on with building an exciting new competition for a new audience to complement our existing competitions - NatWest T20 Blast, Royal London One-Day Cup, the Specsavers County Championship and Kia Super League - plus the international formats, each with its own clear role to play.
"Our clear ambition is that this new competition will sit alongside the IPL [Indian Premier League] and Big Bash League as one of the world's major cricket tournaments.
"It will certainly increase participation in our game, in conjunction with the new All Stars Cricket program for five to eight-year-olds, and provide additional income streams for all our stakeholders.
"The ECB Executive and T20 Development Team will now continue to work with the game as we build the new competition, ensure it is positioned distinctively from our existing competitions and realise its full potential. All decisions - including the creation and base of each team - will be made within the game, guided by our shared strategy and built on best practice, research and insight.
"The benefits it will bring can deliver a sustainable future for all 18 first-class counties and an exciting future for the game in England and Wales."